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Free «The War on Terrorism» Essay Sample

Abstract

The paper is a research based on the global aspects of war. The United States is the key front when it comes to dealing with aspects of terrorism. The U.S. fights to eliminate terrorist communities with the help of other international forces and the use of established policies. Terrorist attacks are most commonly driven and executed by Islamic communities against non-Islamic communities with the aim of trying to gain the superpower. Terrorist attacks are fatal, and it is necessary to get intervention from the international community to monitor and ensure that such attacks do not occur anywhere in the world, and this even led to the formation of a unity policy to monitor nuclear weaponry formations. The USA was granted the mandate as a superpower under the NATO forces. As much as the issue at hand is about handling terrorist attacks, there is a conflict; however, those wars are caused with the aim of benefiting from fossil reserves and taking charge of all mineral resources. Thus, this research paper is going to explore in wide such aspects in detail, and come up with conclusions what causes terror wars globally.

Introduction

The term “War on Terror” is mostly applied in international campaigns led by the U.S. military forces in combination with the United Kingdom through the support of NATO and also non-NATO forces, as well. The initial campaign was for the aim of weeping off the al-Qaeda group and other rebel military organizations. This phrase has been used especially during military campaigns led by the USA, the UK and some of their other allies against those regimes and organizations that they could identify as terrorists, but excluding counter terrorist operations and campaigns, for example, those led by Russia and India. The George W. Bush administration had its objectives concerning the war against terror and thus developed a strategy to fight terrorism. The objectives included the need to defeat the key terrorists, such as Osama bin Laden, and destroy their organizations. In the objectives, there was a need to identify, locate and destroy terrorists completely along with their organizations. Moreover, the administration also tries to deny sponsorships and sanctuary to terrorists and to get rid of conditions that terrorists always seek to exploit. All these are measures to defend citizens of the U.S. in the homeland and abroad. (Robertson, 2002, p.12)

The “War on Terror” is indeed a very bad activity that should not take place because of various reasons, such as costs incurred by the country’s economy, the amount of innocent lives it consumes, and the activity with the aim of attaining a secret motive, thus bringing the idea of self-fulfillment. This makes my thesis statement as follows.

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I)  At first, the amount of money and innocent lives that the activity consumes. There are several cases of the war on terror that have happened globally under the umbrella of operations, namely, the Operation Active Endeavour, the Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan, the Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines, the Operation Enduring Freedom – the Horn of Africa, the Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara, the Operation Iraqi Freedom, and others. The activities of war are exceptionally costly, especially the cost of the Iraqi war, the Afghan war and other global wars on terror since 9/11 analysis because of the amount spent during decade-long periods. According to the studies carried out by the 2011 Congressional Research Company, it estimated the price tag for the 2011 period, which would cater for base security, military operations, foreign aid, reconstruction, veterans’ health care and embassy costs to be around $1.283 trillion. The fiscal budget for the 2012 period to be approved was around $1.415 trillion. In as much as the activities of the War on Terror are expensive, there is also criticism associated with it.

II) The critics on War on Terror activities air out the issues of moral, ethics, efficiency, and economics and call this activity a misnomer. The number of casualties reported on the American population was over 56,900 people, which included Americans who died both as civilians and military personnel. 48,000 among them were either wounded or injured as a result of doing War on Terror activities. As much as it is the strategy of saving people’s lives from impending attacks by terrorists, a better mechanism of dealing with the menace could have been formulated and resolve the conflicts between two warring parties. This brings about a thought that it is not only about fighting to extinguish terror groups and the use of nuclear weapons, but also there is a hidden agenda involved bringing about the War. These hidden interests disclosed in the research paper figure out what real motives there are behind a state or a combination of states trying to extinguish and defeat terror groups in the world. Thus, this results in the discussion on mineral resources and fossil products as a part of the main agenda behind the activities of such War on Terror. (Caruso, 2001)

Body

The first study will focus on the idea of fossil fuel exploration and use. The next study will look at the peak oil theory in the perspective of peak oil, 9/11 attacks, and the War on Terror. The final research will look at alternative energy sources, and alternative strategies that can be used.

I)  History of fossil fuel exploration and use

Beginning with the history of mineral resources exploration, one can equate it to “wealth”, and thus, makes it the main resource that can be obtained naturally and that is required for development, especially in terms of trade, balance of payments, foreign exchanges and its reserves, among many other reasons. This makes it the key reason why the search for such mineral resources dates back to appearing of human beings. This can be termed as the drive of the developed world based on such resources extraction and the utilization of products for the purpose of growth and development. It has been always a hot issue when it comes to the topic of the supply of mineral raw materials and the awareness of how these resources can be explored, produced and utilized strategically. This has brought about unparalleled challenges for politicians, scientists, and economists. Some of these challenges are illustrated below.

(I)        The extent to which raw materials are researched, evaluated, and produced for commercial profit purposes.

(II)       The second challenge is determining the rate, at which valuable raw materials are conserved, stockpiled, and recycled at its broad extent of use, and substituted . (Prof. Akande, 2004)

Coal is the main fossil fuel, which has been a source of energy since human existence. Its earliest record of use appeared more than 3000 years ago in China, where it might have been used in smelting copper. In case of areas where coal seemed to be intersected on the surface, it had been already the main supply of energy that just waited to be exploited. The burning of coal produces a lot of dirt, and requires the use of chimneys in case of the need to use it in the indoors. Coal products are also unusually heavy to transport, limiting its usage to nearby regions. The earliest use of coal products in the U.S. dates back to the 1300’s. Research shows that Hopi Indians, who lived in the desert Southwest used it for cooking and pottery making.

The commencement of the revolutionized industries has brought about the use and extraction of coal at exceptional scales. Large-scale manufacturing and transportation services require a considerable amount of energy. An extra advantage associated with coal is that it can be a raw material in coke's manufacturing, which is finally used in the process of manufacturing steel. Mr. James Watt invented a coal-powered steam engine, which consequently led to the use of coal. Such invention of a train contributed to the creation of a steam-powered boat, which necessitated the reliable transportation of manufactured plant goods to far distances. Such timings and revolutions could not have been good, especially for the United States from the economic standpoint of view. Coal was discovered in the colonies by the late 1600’s, and its first commercial mines started operations in the 1740’s. Virginia and Pennsylvania were the first recipients of plentiful supplies and it helped the young country (USA) to grow and become an industrial powerhouse. (ESA 21, 2003)

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Considering the usage, coal is still the main choice of energy in many applications in the United States. This is because coal is readily available and can be produced cheaply, provided that damages caused by mining and its use are not considered. The USA only uses about one billion tons of coal per year, and the total reserve is estimated to be over 270 billion tons, thus making the USA be able to supply its own needs for a long time if possible. The majority of coal, about 91% produced in the United States, generates electricity that is finally sold to the public. This currently accounts over 50% of the amount of electricity that is generated and used in the USA. The percentage of coal used in the USA has stayed relatively fixed for decades, but the statistics shows that there is a growing demand, since the demand for electricity has risen.

Coal is used for other purposes too, but still this use is mixed with the generation of electricity. About 6% of coal produced in the USA is used by industries, which may include those companies that create electricity for on-site use or combined heat-power generation. The next 5% are for residential or commercial use, which in most cases is for heat purposes, but can also be used in generating electricity for universities and hospitals. The remaining 6% of the total amount of coal that the U.S. consumes goes towards making coke, which is finally used in refining metal ore.

II)        The Peak Oil Theory

This theory states that like any other finite resources, oil will reach the peak in its production, after which its supply will steadily and sharply decline. In 1956, the Shell Oil geologist, Mr. King Hubbert, foresaw that production of oil in the USA would have its peak in the 1970s, which would be later followed by a severe decline. During this period, many people dismissed these predictions as mistaken, though the history shows that these predictions were extremely accurate. The increasing number of economists, geologists, and  politicians now agree that oil production is at its peak and that production is imminent and also predicted to occur within the period of one or two decades. To the present day, some people still disagree with predictions claiming that technological advances can help in buying time before real oil production peaks are reached. Therefore, there is a need to prepare for and mitigate economic recessions, social and political unrests that can accompany the upcoming peak in the production of oil and natural gas. (House of Representatives, Committee on Energy and Commerce, 2005)

The great evidence of oil peak imminent production is witnessed in the last thirty years, whereby the production of oil has exceeded new oil reserves that have been discovered by far. The reason for this is that oil is simply a limited commodity and that large fields that contain easily extractable resources are ones that have been naturally exploited first. These large fields were discovered about thirty or forty years ago right in the Middle East, which comprised the states of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and the United Arab Emirates, which are still the main world’s oil supplier. While these finite oil deposits are diminishing, new oil deposits should be discovered for continuous exploration. The current discoveries being made are extremely small and exhausted rapidly, making such discoveries less viable economically.

There are a sizeable number of the unknown cloud of energy outlooks, which are the flexible interpretation of the available supplied data. At the first junction, the world’s oil resources are found often deep below the surface of the earth, which makes even the best estimates susceptible to large revisions. Official estimates of how is the remaining oil reserves rare come with a concrete number, but rather with a range of some different estimates that are assigned some probability. The U.S. Geological Survey released its results that indicated the estimate of about 95% of certainty that the total amount of undiscovered conventional petroleum is about 0.4 trillion barrels, and 5% of uncertainty that undiscovered resources are estimated to be 1.2 trillion barrels. Thus, the main estimate is around 0.7 trillion barrels of undiscovered oil worldwide. These statistics is still open for discussion and open interpretation.

The peak oil theory faces some challenges that some states maintain secrecy outlooks making it hard to establish facts about oil peaks. There is an obscure outlook by individual countries when it comes to data concerning their oil reserves. For instance, the USA has an established energy policy that individual countries should publically share data on reserve estimates for the purpose of future planning. However, Saudi Arabia, which is arguably the largest in petroleum holdings globally, has been still maintaining high secrecy levels concerning its reserves. The practice promotes some skepticism on whether the amount of disclosed quantity of oil reserves is somehow motivated politically. Discovered oil will be extracted depending on the amount of resources that are underground, but also they are determined by factors that exist on the surface such as the future oil demand that will influence the rate, at which oil is mined. Low prices of the commodity are one of the factors that discourage more investment in the oil field and can also affect the path of oil production as a part of physical supply. (Graefe, 2009)

The technology also plays a key role in the peak oil theory. As most descriptions of oil reserves demonstrate, there is a great difference between the notion of  earth petroleum resource endowment and a standard portion when such resources are considered recoverable. Thus, the technology has undoubtedly helped in narrowing this existing gap, since the innovation has allowed the production of oil in a cost-effective manner. For example, as this oil is extracted, the pressure available within oil fields diminishes, while the water level rises contributing to a decline in the rate, at which the commodity is produced. This decline can be reduced through the injection of gas or some water to increase the pressure. This can also be done through heating oil or even injecting chemicals that will reduce oil viscosity. These types of technological advancements have necessitated the enhancement of oil recoveries that are common in the aging field. This means that the amount of the productivity of extractable oil is increased.

 
 
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III)       The Peak Oil, 9/11, and the War on Terror

As the 9/11 attacks continue to be remembered, the War on Terror continues to live on and even grows ferocity and the geography, whereby it seems to be more imperative to the reoccurrence of events that occurred in that fateful September morning, and thus re-examine the reasons behind such wars and their nature of stated culprit, Al-Qaeda. The events that occurred on September 9/11 pervade the American and the world imagination as one of the historical myths. The 9/11 historical events refer to the day when the United States was attacked by nuclear weapons by the Islamic rebel forces led by al-Qaeda on the American land. This is a historical attack and the myth expresses that every American should be dead by then. This attack was orchestrated by 19 Muslims, who were armed with cutters and were also driven to the acts by their religious fundamentalism that was under the supervision of Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader by then, who was based out of a certain cave in Afghanistan. (Marshall, 2007)

This attack was one of those that called for immediate intervention and help to extinguish the existence of such terror groups before they could plan another attack. This attack was a coordination of the joint intelligent network that was referred to as the Safari Club, which provided finances to terrorists, corrupted the C.I.A’s role in the global drug trade, and thus the emergence of the Taliban. This Safari Club was formulated by influential countries, such as France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Iran, which were anti-U.S. states by then in the struggle of attaining the superpower position. This club needed the network of some banks, which could finance terrorist groups. The major boost for them was received after the scheme that manipulated president George W. Bush in blessing as the head of the CIA, which was under the control of terror groups by then, and led to the transformation of a small Pakistan merchant bank, and also the Bank of Credit and the Commercial International Bank into world-wide money-laundering machines.

Such money laundry activities financed the rebel forces, who then gained access to materials used in the construction of nuclear weapons that were later used in attacking the USA. The idea behind these attacks of terror is related to mineral resources. As terror groups want America to surrender and succumb their leadership in order for them to take control of coal mines present on the American land. The advancement in technology helped America in restructuring itself and influenced other states to form a security policy that would help in monitoring and guarding the territories of collusion states against terror attacks. After the success of this strategy, the concern was again raised to help in attacking the real lands of terror groups. Security unions formed were the Soviet Union and NATO forces, which later invaded into Afghanistan. The Afghan land was also rich in mineral resources, and it made the union forces capture and start controlling mining sectors of oil. This brings the relation of the War on Terror to the indirect agenda of reaping benefits from natural rich resources present in the country in focus. Later after the defeat of terror groups, the security unions of NATO and Soviet Union fell out of terms in matters of sharing the cake obtained from terror lands, and thus left the United States to be a superpower. This justifies why the “War on Terror” is related to fossil oil and mineral resources in foreign lands.

IV)       Alternative Energy and Alternative Strategies

Energy plays the vital role of ensuring that there is a quality life. People rely on energy for the purpose of power generation, economy improvement and local and global environment. The quality of the surrounding air is of paramount concern for the community, and the climate change is one of the biggest challenges that people face globally. The Regional Energy Strategy is one of the plans used in the Integrated Regional Strategy. It provides a framework that will ensure a sustainable approach to energy across all parts of the East Midlands. The idea of the Energy Strategy possesses a formidable challenge to all regional partners, which has the aim of trying to ensure that there is a diverse and secure supply of energy delivered to the economy, through the partnership with local communities. This strategy is also aimed at minimizing environmental impacts altogether. (The East Midlands Regional Assembly, 2009)

Politicians support the need to have renewable energy technologies and the history. This dates back to the period of over 30 years until now within the European Union. The motives to use renewable energy sources in the market have differed in common understanding. One of these impetuses can be traced back to the oil crises that occurred in the early 70s and the 80s. Renewable energy from European Union internal sources was viewed as an appropriate long-term substitution of exhaustible imported fuel with the aim of securing the independent energy supply that is reliable. The second impetus is the link with negative environmental concerns, where externalities were associated with the combustion of fossil fuels. Most of these environmental concerns were raised in the mid-80s that related to regional problems of the quality of air and the level of its acidification.

Environmental problems as a result of the use of non-renewable energy sources were later solved through the invention of the end-of-pipe technology. This technology produced electricity from coal at the same time providing additional political support to renewable energy. Much sustainability has been the key implication of the current anthropogenic carbon emissions from these fossil fuel combustions in global warming. This turns out as the most challenging problem in environmental policies in the following next decades and even possibly centuries. As policy tries to promote the taking over of renewable energy sources, there is a shift to the environmental policy dressing, which is moving from the command-and-control policy towards market-based instruments, such as some subsidies, taxes, and tradable quotas. Following the context of renewable energy promotion, European Union countries use some taxation policies that allow the easy entrance of renewable energy to the market. Such policies include tax exemptions concerning renewable energies and working with implicit subsidies that correct relative prices with respect to energy security and general environmental targets. (Bohringer, 2006)

Conclusion

Considering the findings indicated in this research paper, a conclusion can be drawn that the United States involvement in the fight against terror groups is mostly driven by the hidden agenda of achieving extra benefits, such as oil reserves. War activities are only disguise strategies, which the state uses in order to control oil resources. These resources can generate extra wealth to the county’s economy. This can be classified as self-interest motives, since the research managed to identify the fall out with other policy unions, such as the fall out of NATO with the Soviet Union. When conflicts occur, it is advisable that a dialogue should hold the central position when trying to bring unity among nations rather than responding through war. The research has also shown real signs of non-renewable resources being depleted. There is a challenge how to monitor and maintain this energy for as many years as possible without overexploitation. This is also challenging, since new energy resources that are invented only end up being depleted in exceedingly short time. Therefore, there is a substantial need to adopt new energy saving techniques and to use advanced technological techniques in old oil reserves in order to boost production and ensure that there is accomplished sustainability.

   

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